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Welcome to MarbleTalks, a Blog for our ministers and staff members to share their thoughts, questions, and experiences with you, our faith community. We hope the writing inspires you on your spiritual journey and encourages you to take action in your life and the world around you.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Nothing to Undo
By webmaster @ 1:53 PM :: 1426 Views :: 1 Comments :: Elise Hanley
Every once in a while, I hit the wrong button or part of the screen on my iPhone, and a dialogue box pops up that says “Nothing to Undo.” While it’s probably silly to admit, I’ve found this reassuring. Comforting, even.

It usually would pop up after I’d sent an email or text message that I was unsure of sending. Maybe I had to say something difficult, or give in, or ask for forgiveness, or make some other sort of painful concession. As I’d be second guessing myself, the message would suddenly appear. I couldn’t help but hope it was God’s little winking way of reassuring me: “It’s ok. You’ve done what you were supposed to do. There is nothing to undo.”

Of course, ‘undo’ in such a tech setting means to ‘erase the last change’ or ‘negate the last command.’ As Christians, we aim to live our lives doing so that there will, indeed, be nothing to undo. Alas, imperfect and flawed creatures that we are, this is not always the case! Many of us live with regrets. We all make mistakes, and sometimes there are indeed BIG things that we must fix/undo. Sometimes these things take years of hard work and suffering to undo. Some things seemingly can never be undone – we resign ourselves to being stuck in the mess we’ve made for ourselves, or the mess others seemingly have made for us.

At our recent Women’s Ministry Spa Day, a blessed one day retreat we held here at Marble, we focused on receiving. After a season of giving, giving, giving (Christmas time) we reinforced that all of us are entitled to…. are worthy of… are in NEED of…. Receiving. Many women (and men for that matter) have trouble receiving. How many of us love watching someone else open presents, especially presents we’ve given them? Then, when it’s our turn, we feel awkward, and do not want the attention to be focused on us? How many of us can’t stand to receive praise? Someone compliments us, and we brush it off, saying, “oh no, I’m really not that great, I’m really not that pretty, in fact I’m pretty terrible and horrible,” etc.? So many of us feel that we are not worthy to receive good things.

Sometimes, the church and religion have been GOOD at making us feel unworthy of receiving. With some other churches having more of a focus on sin, sacrifice and retribution, we have been conditioned to forget about the act of receiving. We can give and give until we are exhausted. What good does that then do?

Yes, yes, giving is good and important. So is receiving. We have received God’s only son Jesus. We receive God’s grace. And receive it by doing nothing.

Being open to receive is a good segue way to our Women’s Annual Retreat Theme: “Embracing the Gift of Forgiveness.” Forgiveness requires giving AND receiving. We must be ready to grant forgiveness to others, as Jesus commands us. But we also must be open to receiving forgiveness ourselves.

Forgiveness can be the greatest challenge, especially when atrocious, unthinkable acts have been committed against us. Yet Jesus commands that we forgive not seven times, but seventy-seven times, which basically means infinity – we must always forgive. And as we forgive, God forgives us. Are we open to receiving it? Can we truly forgive those of have hurt and wronged us? What a blessed relief when we truly do: we can move forward, and there will be nothing to undo.

*All women of all ages are welcome to join us at our annual Women’s Retreat, in which we will broach the topic of Forgiveness, February 24th – 26th. Register online or contact Siobhan Tull at the church.*
By Anonymous @ Sunday, January 22, 2012 3:07 PM
The Church and those who appoint themselves or accept the appointment to shepherd the flock, and who stand as example of the organizational behavior that serve, as the example of "God's Kingdom" to the members of the Body of Christ, and to those who look from the outside towards Body of Christ whether out of need or out of curiosity, have a responsibility to exert in their membership, the pitfalls that lead to regression to an animal instinct of, "The survival of the fittest" which translates into predatory behavior in woman/mankind. No matter if the professed is a Christian, a parent; a son or daughter; a husband or wife;, a relative; a stranger; or the clergy. Predatory behavior is extremism at it's worst hurting and damaging the psych of children who are born, many within "so called" Christian homes, yet suffer under brutality at the hands of parents who claim to be Christians. Yes, this is occurring.

Predatory behavior is extremism - when a husband or a wife demands from the other permission, as if master over the other this is extremism.

When there is humiliation, sarcasm, ridicule this is extremism.

Extremism exist where there is neglect, where affection is denied, and where positive nurturing is held back out of foolish bias ignorance.

When the home lacks security and encouragement this is extremism.

When one physically beats on another this is extremism.

When snake-like behavior occur on the workplace against a co-worker, employee or employer this is Extremism.

When there are gains through the oppression or the historical oppressions of a group, and then unrealistic demands are placed on the oppressed this is extremism.

When protection is not afforded, because one is left open to additional abuse; because as Christians we are told to forgive, yet are not informed on avoiding such behaviors at the hands of those who have or who continue to hurt us this is extremism. Etc., Etc.

These are the actions that Christian are suppose to forgive, when in so many instances, very "Christians" do not have the humility to acknowledge past hurtful actions based, obviously, on ignorance, and are unable to ask for forgiveness, though their actions cause hurt, pain, trauma, and shock? Does the entire of humanity receive redemption, through Grace, without acknowledgement of atrocious behaviors? Or, is not salvation on an individual base? Is salvation associated with one's denominational affiliation or is it based on the personal relationship with one's creator. Does Salvation require being humble; at minimum with our Lord, and with those he set us over? This is why, if the actions of moderation, in meetings one's needs, as the way to acquire their fulfillment within ALL of one's relationships are not stressed nor taught by the staff of the Lord, so as there be eliminated the atrocities against one by another (especially elimination of atrocities against children born and raised withing the gates of the Kingdom of God,); woe be to the staff. These lessons of moderation, and lessons of patience, and lessons of demonstrated love and humility must be given to the congregation so as none be mistaken that indeed God will call into account the actions of those who profess the name of Jesus, and profess the Kingdom of God, yet are wolves in sheep's skin.

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